MONACO, ELLIS MAKE FIVE BIRDIES EACH TO LEAD THE FIELD BY ONE STROKE
Thirteen-year-olds Kang and Frasier lead Girls Division
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Co-leaders Ronnald Monaco of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Nick Ellis of East Wenatchee, Wash., hold a one-stroke lead with matching 141s going into the final round. In the Girls Division, Danielle Kang of Oak Park, Calif., and Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif., are tied for first going into the final round with two day totals of 142.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch is being played at the par-72 Trophy Lake Golf & Casting. Competing in the 54-hole event are 63 boys and 21 girls ages 12-18, from seven states and Canada, including 31 players from California and 29 from Washington.
Monaco drained a total of five birdies and no bogeys for a second-round 67.
“I just wanted to play well and have a good showing,” Monaco said. “Just take it one shot at a time don't rush it.”
A rising junior, Monaco finished in fifth place at the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia last year but said winning this event would boost confidence in his game.
“It would put me in a mindset that I could play with the top juniors out here,” he said.
Ellis, who is tied with Monaco, carded five birdies on the back nine to finish at four-under-par 68. After moving into the co-leader spot, the 17-year-old said he was comfortable with his game and knew just what to do to prepare for tomorrow.
“Nothing,” Ellis said. “I want to keep it the same and not change anything.”
Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., carded a 73-69—142 for third place going into the final round, while Eric Pitcaithley of Pleasanton, Calif. is in fourth with 74-69—143. Tied for fifth are Kevin Spooner of West Vancouver, B.C., and Sean Jarvis of Vancouver, B.C., with two day totals of 144.
In the Girls Division, Kang resides at the top of the leaderboard for the second day in a row. Kang had three birdies in her one-over-par 73 which she attributed to her visualization techniques during practice.
“I try to pick targets like it's an actual tournament on the range,” she said.
Joining Kang in the lead with a 71-71—142, 13-year-old Frasier hit 11 fairways and 14 greens, making four birdies in the process.
“I wasn't doing anything spectacular, I was just being consistent,” Frasier said. “Today I've just tried to play golf and not worry about my score or get ahead of myself.”
After placing in the top 5 in several tournaments, Frasier would welcome a first-place finish.
“Since it would be my first (AGJA victory), it would mean a lot,” she said. “I'm just going to go out and keep doing what I've been doing.”
Ashley Smith of Calgary, Alberta, sits in third place with a 74-71—145.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign counties.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The final round of the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch will begin Thursday, June 22 with tee times running from 6:45-8:42 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch, contact tournament headquarters at (360) 874-8337.